Date: Sat, Oct 9, 2010
Subject: Louisiana, 1860
CC: H.K. Edgerton
Please read the following and then tell me if you believe these people would have been better off in the North–especially in Illinois or Indiana or Oregon.
Free blacks in Louisiana
"Negroes in Louisiana in 1860 owned property worth 15-million dollars. The Ricaud family alone in 1859 owned 4,000 acres of land and 350 slaves at a total value of $250,000 . In 1850, four-fifths of the free Negroes living in New Orleans could read and write, and they had over a thousand children in school. Among them were carpenters, tailors, shoemakers and printers, besides teachers, planters, and professional men . . . In 1850, Louisiana had a colored architect, 6 physicians, 4 engineers, and over 20 teachers in schools and in music."
(Source: Free Negroes of Louisiana – Black Reconstruction in America, W. E. B. Du Bois, pages 154-155, Atheneum, New York, 1935)